Busted my arm. Need resources on how to cope.

I have re-aggravated a tendon/ligament injury in my (non-dominant) arm. On previous occasions, I got help with performing daily activities. This time, I’m on my own.

I’ve been Googling like mad but cannot find information/how-tos on how to perform housework chores when one has the use of only one arm. Can you suggest any helpful websites or publications? TIA!

I broke my dominant wrist a few years back. At the time, I was told to not carry anything heavier than a couple of pounds. Are you able to do anything with that hand/arm, or not?

Consider temporarily bringing in a vice for holding cans/bottles/etc in place while you twist the top/use a can opener, that kind of thing. Wrap a dishtowel around the object for grip, then carefully put it in the vice. I think I had the worst problem with leverage. You can also tuck the item under one arm and hold it against your body while you try to remove the top with the other, but this can be awkward. Also, if it’s a plastic bottle, you may find yourself squashing the bottle before you manage to get the cap off.

Try a large toolbelt or similar thing to keep what you need at hand, or to carry multiple objects somewhere with less juggling. You want lots of easily-accessible pouches.

You may need to buy more precut/prepackaged foods if you are unable to find a way to (hygienically and practically) steady foods for cutting. Since it was my dominant hand involved, I could hold food in place, but cutting could be an issue. I temporarily stopped cooking with anything hard (like carrots) that required more pressure from that hand, or used a food processor to do the work.

Trying to think of other things that I did; I’ll post again if I think of anything.

@Ferret Herder: Thanks for the advice. My entire arm, including fingers, is out of commission for at least a week. It’s in a sling and I have to get a wrist stabilizer/splint thingummy. :mad:

With my first broken elbow, I bought an electric can-opener, as there was no way I could have managed.

Dressing can be a challenge. Stretchy shirts are useful: put your bad arm through, then use the good arm to manipulate the shirt over your head.

If you need to use a sling or something to support the arm, I found a regular sling (purchased at the drugstore) to be basically useless this last time around (I’ve got a matched pair of once-broken elbows… it’s a hobby, or something) - the arm would just slide out of the sling, hurting the elbow. Then I realized that my cross-body purse worked dandy: I would rest my wrist on the purse, which allowed my arm to hang loosely and reduced the amount of elbow movement (the elbow didn’t need a cast, just to be somewhat immobilized).

When I realized how well that worked, I popped into Target and bought a couple of cheap long, thin, non-stretchy scarves and tied them in large loops, and wore those cross-body to support the wrist when I didn’t need to carry the purse.

As others have noted, you should imagine that your injury is similar to an amputation since it impacts so much of your life. There has been a lot of progress in that area in recent years, partly due to trauma suffered in the military. Look into websites, books, and classes on amputee life skills. Everyone has their own lifestyle, so you’ll need to get mechanical assistance or change some of your behaviors to mesh well with your new set of abilities. Often your local hospital, VA, or physical therapist will have free group classes you could drop in on.

Check the stuff recommended for arthritis patients who have hand mobility issues. It’s a very large market, so lots of stuff.

Allow a little longer for everything. Many things (such as dressing tasks) are easier if you sit rather than stand. Maybe a little extra clothing protection when eating – you may drop stuff easily.

A supplement to or substitute for the tool belt recommended by Ferret Herder would be a basket or tote bag. Same idea: holds small objects in readiness.

For washing, get a bath pouf with a long handle – a dollar store one is fine.

If it is going to be more than a week – get one of those cutting boards with spikes, etc, to hold the food you are prepping.

Wear a sling when in public, less for support than as a signal to others to avoid bumping into you, allow you a bit of extra time to do things, etc.

This isn’t helpful, but might be a bit fun… The best part (?) about breaking my arm was the joy of making up tall tales about how it happened. Jumping from a Helicopter… Caught up in a Mafia crossfire… Shoving a child in a wheelchair out of the path of an onrushing rhinoceros…

(In actual point of fact, I fell on a rock while running away from the Restless Dead.)

(Well, it was in a live-action role-playing-game…)

I do remember getting a set of little metal surgical clamps, to hold things in place. I also used bulldog clips, available from office supplies. Velcro became a dependable friend.

I really like Ferret Herder’s idea of a vice. (Vise? Whatever; yeah!)

:smack: ViSe! Although a vice is a very good idea as well.

More than one day at work, I’d have to find a coworker and ask him or her to please open my bottle of soda or water, because I couldn’t get the leverage. I’d clamp it under my arm or (while sitting) between my thighs, and still couldn’t manage it.

Yeah! And vise-grips, a great combination of vise and clamp. You can adjust it to grip the soda-bottle-top, clamp the bottle under your arm, and twist the grip.

(The first thing my best friend asked me was, “Is it the hand you pollute yourself with?” Fortunately, no…)

I had surgery on my dominant wrist in 2007.

It just so happened that we were having our kitchen remodeled at the time, so I got out of cooking duty while I was healing, so that was nice.

Sweatpants or any pant with an elastic waistband is your friend, it’s a real pain in the butt taking real pants on and off one-handed. In the same vein, don’t wait until the last minute to use the bathroom, it may take a little longer to get situated.

I had my husband “prepare” foods for the day for me before he left in the morning. Opening yogurt containers, cutting fruit, making a sandwich, putting chips in a bowl, etc. I also had him pour drinks into cups and put them in the fridge.

You don’t realize what you use two hands for until you only have one…